The Royal Society of Chemistry is pleased to collaborate with the Chinese Society of Chemical Science and Technology based in London (CSCST-UK)  to sponsor two young scientists* based in the UK to go back to China to seek collaboration or get further experience and skills to enhance their research project in the UK. These travel grants are given annually and the prize certificates are presented at the annual Joint Annual Conference of CSCST-SCI.  

* Scientists have to be based in the UK and a full member of the Royal Society of Chemistry or the CSCST-UK

Shangfeng Du talks about fuel cells in China

Dr Shangfeng Du, a Research Fellow at the School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, was the 2016 recipient of the RSC - CSCST-UK travel grant. This collaborative grant between the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chinese Society of Chemical Science and Technology based in London (CSCST-UK) enables a UK-based early career scientist to travel to China to seek further collaboration opportunities in China. 

Dr Du has written a personal trip diary covering his trip to China from the 5-9 April 2016. A summary of his trip diary is published below. 

Sponsored by the RSC - CSCST-UK travel grant, I visited Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPE-CAS) on 6-8 Apr 2016. During this visit, I gave a seminar and had discussions with a few groups in the Institute. Several potential research collaborations were established between both institutes based on the strong research resources of CHFCR in fuel cell devices and the IPE-CAS in materials research. 

I arrived at Beijing Jiannianhua Hotel in the evening on 5th April, where I stayed for the whole visiting period. After supper, I got my talk prepared for the next day.

Shangfeng Du presenting his work

6th April 2016

My seminar was planned at 10:30am on 6th April and I set off from Hotel at 9:00 am. The taxi usually takes about ca. 10 min to the Institute if the traffic is good. Unfortunately, I was stuck in traffic jam for more than half an hour, but I got a chance to feel the real traffic status and understand the amount of vehicles held in Beijing, which has been reported as one of the significant reasons for the air pollution. I arrived at the Institute just in time and met Prof Fangli Yuan who was the host of my visit and also the chair for my seminar. My presentation was planned at room 308 in the new main building. I gave a talk titled with ‘3D engineered catalyst electrodes for PEMFC applications’. In the talk, I started from a brief introduction to our Centre for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research at the University of Birmingham, UK, followed by my three research areas: 3D catalyst electrodes, new catalyst platforms and structure degradation research.

Prof Jun Yang, Prof Ning Han, Prof Peng Hu, Prof Xiaofeng Wu, Prof Yanbin Cui and ca. 20 PhD students attended my talk. A short forum was conducted after the seminar on the challenges and future of fuel cells and their applications, in particular for clean vehicles.  

Audience at IPE-CAS

After lunch, I had a talk with Prof Yuan and we agreed to start our collaboration by applying for the cooperative research funding from National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). Then, I had a tour of his lab and had a discussion with his students on the material development by plasma technology for lithium battery applications. Before the dinner, I had a chance to see the research poster exhibition of the outstanding graduates of the year from IPE.
In the next morning, I called on my PhD group. I had a pleasant chat with some of my former group mates including Prof Haidi Liu and Prof Shufeng Ye. After that, I went for tea with my PhD supervisor, Prof Yunfa Chen, joined by Prof Yuan and several other staffs. We had a nice talk about the life in both countries and my past career development. After tea, Prof Chen shared with me his brilliant experience on group management and we had a long talk about my career plan. In the late afternoon, I met with Prof Ning Han and talked about his research on materials for electrochemical sensors and our possible collaboration in the future. He then showed me around the lab including the scale up manufacture facilities, preparation and also the analysis labs.
7th April 2016

I had a chat with Prof Jun Yang who is working on nanostructured catalysts for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). This is close to some of my current research interests but he mainly focuses on the synthesis of materials. We talked about the current global research status and future directions, as well as the possible collaborative chance to apply for funding and joint publications. Prof Yang also presented me with his book  ‘Metal-Based Composite Nanomaterials’ (Chinese version) as a gift. I’ll read it after I come back to the UK. 
Book Gift- 'Metal-Based Composite Nanomaterials’ (Chinese version)

8th April 2016
After my visiting to IPE-CAS, I met Prof Huili Fan from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Science and Technology Beijing and Dr Chengwei Che from the Department of Engineering and Materials Sciences in NSFC for dinner. We talked about the current global status of fuel cells and the related NSFC Sino-UK international cooperation calls that will be opened in recent future. 
I left the hotel in the early morning on 9th April for Beijing capital airport and landed at Birmingham at ca. 6pm local time. 
Posted by Kathleen Too on May 6, 2016 11:56 AM Europe/London

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